While attempting to answer the God Question in our day and time is truly difficult, it is not impossible. Religion attempts to address the God Question and provide a belief framework by which a person can live.
Religion may be defined simply as “the center of life that gives meaning.” Religion is a framework for life. Each religion attempts to answer the questions conflicting the soul of mankind and provide a structure for how one should live.
Many people love piecing together complex puzzles. The more pieces there are, the more complex the process. The number of pieces within a puzzle normally signifies what age person should attempt each one. As a child matures, his parents expect him to solve more complex puzzles with smaller pieces.
Imagine attempting to put together a thousand piece puzzle. The pieces of this puzzle are small enough that each one does not immediately reveal its proper context. Now imagine attempting the puzzle without the aid of the puzzle box top.
Many people would quit at just the thought. The box top is essential to constructing a puzzle. From the box top, one receives clues that a green piece most likely belongs in the patch of grass in the painting or the white on blue is a piece of the cirrus clouds at the top. Without the box top, one is aimlessly guessing his way through one thousand pieces hoping to find something that goes together.
Religions attempt to provide a box top for life. The puzzle is not instantaneously solved, but an observing student knows where to begin. Piece by piece, the whole picture begins to take shape.
All the questions in the hearts of people throughout history could all be considered a piece in the puzzle. Why do bad things happen to good people? Who is considered a good person? How could a loving God allow natural disasters? Where does one go after death? Why does injustice exist for the oppressed and downtrodden people of the world?
These, and many more, are independent questions, but they are each pieces of the puzzle. Addressed independently, a person will go mad, but addressed as a whole, a picture emerges. Religions provide a framework from which to handle such questions. A religion’s theodicy (the problem of God’s and evil’s coexistence) has a lot to do with it’s soteriology (the beliefs concerning salvation).
Apart from the box top, one has difficulty constructing the whole picture, Without religion, one has difficulty making sense of all the elements of life.